Churchyard Matters

The Churchyard of St.Cosmus and St.Damian in the Blean

The churchyard at Blean church is actively maintained and much visited. Burials of ashes are now carried out alongside the new Memorial Walk, which is located on the southern side of the church in the prettiest and most historic part of the churchyard. Ashes are buried directly into the ground, and - with permission - small granite memorial plaques may be ordered.

Families with established family graves or plots may, instead, choose to have ashes buried in these. In 2017 the cost of a burial of ashes ceremony (whether at the Memorial Walk or elsewhere) which includes the prayers of committal and the actual burial was approx £201. This is based on a Statutory Fee of £151, plus £50 for the work involved with the preparation of the burial plot. We can advise about procedures for getting a memorial plaque made and installed.

The unauthorised scattering or burying of ashes in English churchyards is not permitted.

Tending of Graves and Burial Plots

In order to preserve the appearance and atmosphere of the historic churchyard for everyone's benefit there are strict rules governing gravestones, memorials (including inscriptions) and other items in the churchyard. In all cases, permission must be sought for their installation before the stonemason gets to work, and fees may be payable. Follow this link to consult the most up-to-date version of the regulations:

Canterbury Diocesan Churchyard Regulations

 

The History of Blean Churchyard

Blean churchyard is surrounded by metal 'park fencing'.

The earlist part (which is closest to the church building and known as the 'old churchyard') is likely to have been originally established within the surrounds of a Roman villa, which had been built in the vicinity as it is within the ditch or moat of the 'villa', which is still clearly visible. In this area are the earliest graves and headstones (along with the recently established Memorial Walk).

By 1914  the old churchyard was probably nearly full and a 'new churchyard' area was started north of the villa site, to the left of the main churchyard gate as you enter from the church car park.

The whole churchyard was surveyed by students of the Royal School of Military Engineering at Chatham in about 2001 as a training exercise and all the headstones were registered under the Global Positioning System (GPS). Our churchyard plan is therefore reasonably accurate.

Database

The churchyard records are divided into two with the approximate lines of the old churchyard headstones and graves noted with double letters (AA,BB, .. etc) and the new churchyard lines of graves and headstones noted with single letters (A,B, .. etc). Regrettably the records of the old churchyard are limited to the details of the headstones in the area which can be deciphered.

The records of the new churchyard are, we believe, complete as we were fortunate enough to have been given the records of the original gravedigger of that area. A copy of the churchyard records has been placed in the church, on the shelf below the table by the north door, and visitors are encouraged to make comments and suggest amendments to this copy as they are able.

An exercise to record individual headstone details has still to be done - any volunteers?

Click here to download a copy of the “New Churchyard” lines of graves and headstones document in pdf format.

Click here to download a copy of the “Old Churchyard” headstones and graves document in pdf format.

Upkeep

The churchyard is regularly mown and weeded by contractors and tiedied and trimmed by volunteers and we try to make it a place for remembrance and peaceful contemplation as well as preserving the beauty of nature as God provides.